Northern Ireland Water has been fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to polluting the Glenavy River.
Lisburn Magistrates Court heard yesterday that the pollution incident at Glenavy Sewage Pumping Station on October 23 2007 was linked to defective equipment that caused an intermittent discharge into the watercourse.
A DOE spokesman said: “On 23 October 2007, a Water Quality Inspector, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency observed a significant discharge of untreated sewage to the Glenavy River, a tributary of Lough Neagh, following complaints from a member of the public.
“The source of the polluting discharge was traced to the NIW Terminal Sewage Pumping Station on the Pigeontown Road, Glenavy.
“NIEA have stated that NIW failed to respond effectively and stop the pollution despite warnings from electronic alarms fitted to the station and complaints from a member of the public on the 19 October.
“A sample taken at the time of the incident confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious and polluting matter which would have been potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving watercourse.”
NI Water said it had cooperated fully with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency throughout the prosecution and had now taken steps to ensure that a similar incident does not happen again at the site.